Man who says he won’t quit drugs gets three years

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PICTOU – A 61-year-old Stellarton man who says he will not stop taking illegal drugs will have three years to think about whether he wants to change his ways. 

Robert Thomas MacPherson was sentenced in Pictou Provincial Court Wednesday to three years in federal prison after pleading guilty to possessing hydromophone for the purpose of trafficking and possession of unstamped tobacco.

He was arrested on April 10, 2013, after the Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Unit obtained a search warrant after watching his home and seeing him pass a package to a driver of vehicle in exchange for some money.

Police officers searched his Stellarton home and found more than $1,700 in cash, many open and filled hydromophone capsules, filled syringes, a digital scale and 81 unstamped tobacco products.

The Crown and defence agreed to a joint recommendation of one year in jail, but Judge Del Atwood felt the punishment didn’t fit the crime.

Atwood said it was evident that MacPherson’s prior drug-related convictions did not deter him from continuing to traffic illegal drugs.

In fact, he said, MacPherson alluded to the fact that he intended to use illegal prescription drugs when this jail sentence was complete.

“I shouldn’t have done it. It was wrong so off to jail I will go, but I am not stopping,” he told the author of his pre-sentence report.

Atwood said MacPherson might be operating a “busy, petty retail operation” but he is a risk to society because the illegal drug world often leads to violent attacks that can unexpectedly draw innocent people.

“The prospect for rehabilitation is bleak,” said Atwood. “The risk of Mr. MacPherson becoming re-involved in the illegal drug trade is substantial. The risk is too great for this court to impose the sentence recommendation.”

Atwood sentenced MacPherson to three years in prison on the drug trafficking charge, but gave him 35 days credit for the time that he has been in remand. He was also sentenced to 30 days for the excise tax charge but this will run concurrent to his other sentence.

He must also pay a total of $150 in victim surcharges.

Organizations: Pictou County Integrated Street Crime Unit

Geographic location: Stellarton

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